Customer/driver contact makes screening vital

20 October 2018 00:00

Smartphones offer customers the ability to place orders with just the tap of a finger – be it takeout, merchandise or a taxi ride.

With the growing popularity of convenience ordering in South Africa, strangers are having to come into contact with each other on a personal level more frequently than in the past. In the case of delivery services for example, drivers are increasingly required to deliver packages or interact with customers at their homes, offices and other private spaces. With so much person to person contact, it is vital to keep your customers safe by ensuring you effectively screen the drivers you hire.

Background screening is highly useful because it provides employers with factual information on employees and candidates, says Rudi Kruger, General Manager of LexisNexis Risk Solutions. As an advocate for ongoing background screening, Kruger said it was significant tool in some cases versus others.

“For certain occupations, particularly those that require constant contact with customers like drivers and delivery personal, we recommend regular background screening because the safety of customers is so important,” said Kruger. Background screening drivers also assists with the prevention of being suspected or accused of negligent hiring. “If a driver is involved in a crime or causes an accident by driving negligently, the business will ultimately become involved. Consider the benefits of background screening as it protects the business from lawsuits, negative publicity and other similar liabilities by showcasing your company’s intention to diminish harm,” he said.

Not only is there the issue of criminality, there is also the threat of reputational damage due to the face-to-face nature of the job. Previous malpractice links, or questionable past behaviours that could result in damage to your company’s name are realistic pressures. Because as quick as customer are to whip out their phones to call a cab, they are equally quick to post negative reviews on social media sites where the results can be swift and deadly to a growing business.

Continued checks also help employers with identifying any new offences that may pop up while the driver is employed, ensuring a prolonged and more holistic system is in place.

Kruger said the most valuable checks on drivers include, among others, license verification and criminal checks. “Physical evidence of a license card is not proof enough that the licence was legitimately issued by the authorities because there are plenty of fake licenses around. Running a driver’s licence check also indicates if the driver has any conditions applied to them, which may impact on the job performance,” said Kruger.

Criminal checks are valuable as they help an employer truly understand the employee’s potential for dangerous behaviour by uncovering their history of illicit activity, past convictions and misdemeanours. This is useful as anyone found to have a history of being involved in criminal activity can be considered a risk to those they come into contact with, especially customers.

In addition to drivers licence verification, Lexis ® RefCheck services include verification of tertiary and secondary academic qualifications held by the individual from registered local and international institutions; identity and South African citizenship validation; fraud history checks via the South African Fraud Prevention Services; credit history checks through detailed TransUnion and Experian credit bureau reports; criminal history check via AFISwitch (electronic fingerprint collection and processing); verification of local and international employment history and professional association membership; and matching of bank account against an identity number or registration number.

For more information, visit